Where We Be
The last 10 km to Cabo Pulmo are over rough dirt road and can be slow going in a
regular car, but the reward is a quiet stretch of beach and a pristine marine park
Cabo Pulmo -- Baja, Mexico
The main reason to come to Cabo Pulmo is to
snorkel and dive in the only Pacific coral reef in
the Sea of Cortez. The whole area is a protected
national marine park. In fact it has been called
the most robust marine reserve in the world. A
2011 Scripps Institution of Oceanography study
found that the number of fish boomed here by
460% (1999-2009) due to a strict no fishing policy.

We went on a snorkeling tour by boat ($45 pp)
and visited four different spots. The highlight
was swimming among two huge "bait balls" of
bigeye trevally – we're talking hundreds if not
thousands of fish. We half expected to see a
shark come crashing through their midst. We
also spied schools of yellow tang, moorish
idols, angelfish, and puffer fish. The coral reef
isn't as colorful as what we've seen in Fiji, but
the fish are abundant. We also enjoyed another
frolic with sea lions off Los Frailes and a chance
encounter with a humpback whale and her baby.
From our little bungalow at Cabo Pulmo Sports Center ($59 per night),
we could hear the ocean waves at night and enjoy a quiet pace of life
Downside: No wi-fi. Upside: hammock! Actually the lack
of wi-fi encouraged us to just relax and be in the moment.
View in the other direction of this long stretch of beach
We took a long beach walk in the direction of
Los Arbolitos and enjoyed the remote setting
View from La Palapa restaurant. You'll have to go to the other Cabo for night life, but if you're
looking for a quiet retreat with great snorkeling and diving, Cabo Pulmo is worth the detour.
La Palapa restaurant offers open-air dining, ocean views, and terrific seafood dishes.
What more could you ask for -- except maybe a mango margarita, which they also have.
We celebrated the richness of the marine life in a different way after our snorkel. These
shrimp sauteed in garlic and chile guajillo were yum, seriously yum (180 pesos / $12).
We stayed at Cabo Pulmo Sport Center's bungalows
and used their dive shop for our snorkeling tour ($45 pp)
As we headed off on our snorkel trip, we took this photo looking back at Cabo Pulmo. You
can see what a tiny, isolated village it is at this point -- but who knows what the future will bring.
We loved our chance encounter with a humpback whale and her baby, which breached twice! We also saw numerous mobula rays
leaping and somersaulting out of the water like they were having a party -- but the party would stop each time our boat got close.
At the end of the dirt road is this tiny village dominated by snorkel and dive shops.
A handful of thatched hut restaurants offer fresh seafood with an ocean view.
NOT OUR PHOTOS -- We saw enormous schools of bigeye trevally (left) and bright yellow
tang (right) and had more up-close-and-personal encounters with sea lions at Los Frailes
[Not our photo]